Derby County are very unlikely to be able to spend any money on recruiting players in the January transfer window and are to rely on loan deals and free agents to strengthen their survival bid.
It is set to be an incredibly challenging second half of the season for the Rams, and in that experience will be key in keeping morale up and maintaining belief that County can go on to compete with the teams around them.
Wayne Rooney has made good use of the free agent market so far this season, Sam Baldock and Ravel Morrison joined the club having been unattached in the summer and have gone on to contribute to a lot of admirable displays in the circumstances.
For that to continue to happen, which has been an achievement in itself, the Rams will likely have to replace the players that they lose in January with unattached commodities.
Here, we have taken a look at three players that Derby should consider targeting come the turn of the year…
32-year-old versatile forward Tomlin departed Cardiff City in early October having struggled to kick on from an excellent 2019/20 campaign.
Tomlin has had his ups and downs physically in recent years but there is no debate that when fully fit he is difficult to handle in the Championship.
Young attackers like Luke Plange and Jack Stretton could learn a lot from a player like Tomlin even if he was not a first team regular, and he could be a sensible addition in preparing for next season in the third tier.
Nathan Byrne is an experienced right back and one of Derby’s most senior players, however there is limited depth in his position, with Festy Ebosele usually deployed further forward, and Elmohamady could add valuable experience to the ranks.
The Egyptian has 163 second tier appearances to his name and could be a good addition in maintaining morale and standards on the training pitch in the second half of the season.
Quiz: Have Derby County signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
Reid played 11 games in a loan spell at Brentford towards the back end of the 2020/21 campaign but was unable to find a club in the summer, ending a very successful 11 year stint with West Ham United.
Curtis Davies and Phil Jagielka have had a great impact on and off the pitch this season and Reid would ensure that that influence is not decreased if one of them is to suffer an injury.